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Spokane Indians add Andrew Vathis, Bill Buckner to Rim of Honor

UPDATED: Fri., June 21, 2019

Spokane Indians inducted South Hill Albertson's employee Andrew Vathis into the Rim of Honor during the game against the Boise Hawks at Avista Stadium on Friday, June 21, 2019. Vathis was struck and killed by an SUV while walking home from work in January. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Indians inducted South Hill Albertson's employee Andrew Vathis into the Rim of Honor during the game against the Boise Hawks at Avista Stadium on Friday, June 21, 2019. Vathis was struck and killed by an SUV while walking home from work in January. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff and wire reports

The Spokane Indians announced on Friday before their home opener against the Boise Hawks that Andrew Vathis and Bill Buckner have been named the 2019 Rim of Honor recipients.

“We are excited to welcome two outstanding individuals to the Rim of Honor,” said Otto Klein, Indians senior vice president. “Through the years, Andrew and Bill have both had a profound impact on Indians baseball and the Spokane community.”

The team created the Rim of Honor in 2007 to honor individuals and organizations that have positively contributed to the Indians and the city of Spokane on and off the field. There are four permanent members of the Rim of Honor: Dwight Aden, Tommy Lasorda, Levi McCormack and Maury Wills. In addition to the permanent members, two new members are added to the Rim of Honor annually.

Andrew Vathis, who died in January after being hit by a vehicle while walking home from work, was a friend to the Indians and the Spokane community. He attended multiple Indians games each summer and was a longtime Special Olympian. He had an infectious smile that brought joy to everyone he encountered, especially at Avista Stadium.

Bill Buckner, a veteran of 22 MLB seasons, spent part of two years playing for the Spokane Indians in 1969 and 1970. In 1970, Buckner hit .335 for the Pacific Coast League championship team that is widely regarded as one of the greatest minor league baseball teams of all time.

His 2,715 Major League hits ranks second only to Carlos Beltran among former Spokane Indians who played in the big leagues. Buckner had significant ties to the Pacific Northwest, playing for the Indians, serving two seasons as the hitting coach for the Boise Hawks, and spending years in Boise after his retirement from baseball.

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